Ecorana Environmental ltd., Blog at it's partner field staiton at the T.R.E.E.S

We are Ecorana Environmental, an eco-travel and environmental education company that specializes in creating and planning applied learning holidays for students, researchers, and ecotourists alike. Our team consists of travel and outreach specialists as well as research biologists and teachers who specialize in environmental education and conservation. We are well-versed in providing comfortable, safe, and exciting learning and travel opportunities to a range of clientele interested in environmentally and culturally conscious travel.Ecorana is poised to offer travel and education abroad opportunities in the diverse tropical country of Belize. Ecorana employs biologists who are well-trained in tropical ecology, herpetology, and ornithology, and as such, studies in tropical biology are the primary focus of our educational holidays. However, our team’s diverse interests and expertise allow us to plan all types of holidays ranging from wildlife ecotours to yoga retreats to West African drumming courses to ecological field technique courses. Wherever your interests lie, you can be guaranteed that Ecorana will be right there with you.Ecorana maintains values of environmental and cultural conservation and stewardship, hands-on education, and inclusive learning, and seeks to instill those values in all visitors to Belize. We work with many field stations and educational centers, scientists, educators, tour companies, tour guides, eco-lodges, and parks, both on the mainland and on the islands of Belize, to make sure you go exactly where you want to go and see exactly what you want to see and more!

One of our main partners is the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (T.R.E.E.S) and their field station in Belize. The objectives of this environmental education center are to host various cultural and environmental based student courses, workshops and event hosting in the heart of the beautiful Maya Mountains of Belize. We plan on providing our services to international students as well as providing opportunities for Belizean students.

For more information see our website at, or send us and email at or to go directly to the T.R.E.E.S website

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Duka, the wolf puppy

And this is Duka! The delicious almost-jaguar-snack! She definitely looks like a little wolf, and maybe a bit like that strange Alf character.........


This is Eva! She was really scared of everything at first (she spent a lot of time hiding in the first week) but we think it was because she had giant blood-sucking ticks in her ears and an ear infection and was in a lot of pain! Now she is a little spunky one.

Scary Scary Times......

So, after only a few short weeks of living in the jungle, we have already had our first major scare. To start, we need you all to know that we got some really cute puppies (Apparently we are more cat people since so far we have only talked about the beloved cats! This one is for you dog people!). The puppies are sisters, and they are half rotweiler/half wolf (yes, that's right, apparently some crazy Canadian shipped a pet wolf into Belize a while back). We hope that one day they will grow up to be really good guard dogs. But for now they are just sweet little puppies.

Last weekend, I awoke in the middle of the night in sheer panic because I heard the terrifying sound of one of our puppies being attacked (they sleep on the porch at night but we leave the door open so they can go outside to use the bathroom). I was certain, in my half-asleep state, that they, or at least one, was being dragged away by a jaguar. I flew out of bed, and the only thing I could think to do was to start screaming bloody murder, in hopes that I would scare the thing away before it killed the dog. So I ran through the house screaming, and started banging my fists on the door to the porch. I had no glasses on, and everything was dark, and I was so scared to open the door and see my dead puppy. Now, poor Mathieu, was experiencing a completely different fear. He had not heard the dog squealing, and only heard me. He awoke in sheer panic thinking we were under house invasion, and thought he saw a person towering over the bed (which was just me flying out of the bed), and then thought another person was banging on the door to get in (again, me banging to scare the jaguar). I kept screaming "something has taken the dog" and he kept hearing "someone has taken the dog". He started running around the house brandishing his machete, also yelling, I started cyring, he finally understood what I was freaking out about, so we both ran onto the porch to check out the dogs. Littel sweet Eva was cowering under the table, and dear Duka was gone. I was sure she was dead, and I didn't want to go look at her, so Mat went to search the scene. I was consoling Eva, and trying to console myself, when Mat came back with Duka in his arms, alive and well!!

It was all very strange, we could not figure out what had happened, because she had no scratches on her or anything, but she was terrified. The dogs across the road had not been barking until we woke up screaming, so it seemed impossible that it could have been a person in the yard trying to steal her since they are always on high alert (although, dog-napping apparently is a common money-making scheme!) We remained confused for days, and worried that it had actually been a person, but we talked to one of the caretakers from down the road, who said that it definitely sounded like a jaguar, and that often the young ones have under-developed canines and not very skilled at hunting yet, so instead of killing them in one bite to the head like the big ones do, they just try to drag it away. And I think our insane racket must have scared off the jaguar so he (or she) could not finish her job! Thank goodness. Despite not being the biggest dog lovers in the world, I think both Mat and I have come to love those little (soon to be big) girls.

So, we gave each other the scare of our lives. And although it is really scary knowing that a jaguar is preying on our pets, it is also really cool! We're in the jungle now!

The story of Diesel

Hi everyone! I am finally here to tell the story of little Diesel. Aptly named, this little sweetie came from a mechanic's yard that I visited almost every day for an entire week after getting an old '85 Toyota pickup with 344000 miles on it that did not purr like that little kitten did. The first time I saw him he came running to greet me, purring up a storm. Then everytime I visited he would be sitting on my truck, or in my truck, and if he wasn't right there he would always come when I called him. One day the mechanic told me that I could have him, that he got him to catch the rats and he didn't think he would be much use as he was a male and males don't catch rats (I don't know where he got that from but that was ok as at least I got to get a cute little cat out of it). He was dirty and covered in diesel, and I said "I'm going to name him Diesel!" And I did. And boy can that little cat eat. We actually think he may have an eating disorder. He eats and eats, until he is so full he feels like a little football, and then he eats some more. But he is a real sweetie and we have become quite attached to the little guy. But we can't let him stay outside at night because.......(spoiler for next post!).............

Monday, November 28, 2011

little diesel 2

After the popularity of Diesel's first appearance and the lack of pictures of me, here is a second picture of the little dude!

I will let Vanessa write the Diesel story in her next post!


Swimming holes!

We have finally found a little time to explore on the property and are finding some very nice perks! Here is a beautiful tropical swimming hole we found about 300 meters from the house behind the orchard! Our live's are not all work! Here Vanessa is demonstrating our relaxing skills!

Here is the pictures of little Diesel

Here is the picture of Diesel helping out with the tiling!

Fixing the house

We are now seriously working on fixing the house for Christmas as our families are coming down soon! Vanessa painting the house on the left. Our new cat diesel, helping with the tiling! And on the bottom, Paulo are main fix it man actually doing the tiling. We are pretty much finished with the house now, I will send you up to date pictures in a couple of days! The house looks like a completely different place!

Friday, November 25, 2011

gecko et al.

Vanessa's new friend the gecko!


The big issue right now is that we do not have all of the appropriate field guides for Belize, some apparently we will have to do ourselves!!! This really neat owl eyes butterfly mimic was in our house this week, beautiful little creature!

crazy critters

Hello bloggers, we are slowly starting to poke around the property and find the cute and weird creatures around our property. This little guy is the red coffee snake, found right beside our house by Vanessa last week! Fun fun!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

busy times

Hello everyone, we are currently in busy busy times, we just got 2 dogs, 2 cats, house hunters filmed us and our new place, contractors are around fixing up the house, crazy times! We will be adding the much anticipated postings this weekend with nice pictures!

Hasta pronto!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The house

Ok, now that we can move into our house, we find that there is much work to be done!!! We will need to start by painting the place inside and out, add a tile floor inside and get kitchen counters and the bathroom remodeled!

Arriving in Belize

Hello to all of our followers, we have already been here for three weeks, time sure flies when you are having fun! In the last few weeks, we have stayed at Beautiful Cave`s Branch Jungle Lodge while we have been slowly trying to organize ourselves and move into our house! From there we will be able to really start building the infrastructure for the project!

Our first task was to bring a new caretaker house to the property, in order to move the caretaker from the main house into this new house. It so happens that he has decided not to stay with us after all but at least we have this house whenever we find a new caretaker that wants to stay on the property and help us with the project!